The 2006 PPG/STREET RODDER Road Tour marks not only the second decade of the Road Tour series, but also a new format. For the last 10 years I have traveled around the United States solo, attending National Street Rod Association events and reporting on my adventures in the pages of STREET RODDER magazine. This year we decided it would be fun to invite the readers to travel along in their own vehicles and experience the fun of long-distance cruising firsthand.

Like any new concept, we were not sure what to expect with both the response and the results. It has turned out great so far, with the first tour just past the halfway point, and the response and the results have been very positive.

We attended the Cruisin' Ocean City event in Ocean City, Maryland, and headed west on Sunday afternoon with 14 cars and 17 participants. Our stop for Sunday night was Virginia Beach and the Norfolk, Virginia, shop of Flatlanders Hot Rods. Alan Thornton and 25 local rodders where on hand to greet us.

Monday morning our journey continued to Charlotte, North Carolina. It was a fun day as we were able to take a few laps around Lowes Motor Speedway in our own vehicles. We then lined the cars up at the start/ finish line for an incredible photo opportunity. Brent and the folks at Fatman Fabrications were our hosts Monday evening and we were treated to a good old-fashion barbeque.

Tuesday was a 400-mile day with our designation being Nashville, Tennessee, where Johnny and Linda Fruend greeted us at their Hunters Custom shop.

Wednesday we are touring the Advanced Plating facility and the Gibson Guitar factory in Nashville, and then we head to Holly Springs, Mississippi, where street rod builder and collector George Poteet has invited us for an evening at his farm. Everyone is excited to see George's fantastic collection of vehicles.

We are well into Tour #1 of our new Road Tour series. It will be an exciting day today, and tomorrow we roll into Springfield, Missouri, to our destination of the NSRA Mid-America Nationals.

Check back here and get current updates and info on Road Tour 2006. With five more tours scheduled, there is plenty of time to join in the fun.

Jerry Dixey